1980-81 Utah Jazz Games Played/Started & Transactions

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1980-81 Utah Jazz Games Played/Started & Transactions

Postby MCT » Fri Jul 22, 2016 9:17 pm

This is the 22nd of a series of threads analyzing games played, games started and transactions for the 1980-81 season. Before reading any further, see the introductory thread below:

viewtopic.php?f=5&t=4961

UTAH JAZZ – PART I

SEASON OVERVIEW

The Jazz had a 28-54 record. They finished fifth out of six teams in the Midwest Division, and eleventh out of twelve teams in the Western Conference overall. The Jazz did not qualify for the playoffs.

The Jazz used 16 different players for the season, five above the minimum.

ROSTER AND TRANSACTIONS

OPENING NIGHT ROSTER

Ron Boone
Allan Bristow
Wayne Cooper
Adrian Dantley
John Duren
Darrell Griffith
James Hardy
Jeff Judkins
Billy McKinney
Ben Poquette
Brett Vroman

IN-SEASON TRANSACTIONS

In the list below, anything which is underlined is the subject of discrepancies or guesswork, or is the result of further research beyond my usual sources.

12/1/80 – Waived James Hardy and Brett Vroman.

12/2/80 – Signed Rickey Green and Jeff Wilkins as free agents.

12/9/80 – Placed John Duren on the injured list; signed Dick Miller to a 10-day contract.

12/19/80 – Signed Dick Miller to a second 10-day contract.

12/22/80 – Traded Billy McKinney to the Nuggets for Carl Nicks.

1/3/81 – Signed Mel Bennett to a 10-day contract.

1/13/81 – Signed Mel Bennett to a second 10-day contract.

1/18/81 – Placed Rickey Green on the injured list; activated John Duren from the injured list.

1/24/81 – Signed Mel Bennett to a contract for the remainder of the season.

1/26/81 – Activated Rickey Green from the injured list; waived Ron Boone.

NOTES/DISCREPANCIES

James Hardy:

It is well documented that Hardy was waived by the Jazz on 12/1/81, then was re-signed during the 1981 offseason, returning to the team for the 1981-82 season. I want to make note of one source these transactions don’t appear in, however, even though you would expect them to: b-r.com. b-r.com is missing both Hardy’s waiving on 12/1/80 and his subsequent signing during the 1981 offseason. This makes it look like Hardy was with the Jazz for the entire 1980-81 season and continuously into the 1981-82 season. That wasn’t actually the case.

Injured list transactions:

The Jazz signed Dick Miller to a 10-day contract on 12/9/81. To sign a player to a 10-day contract, they must have placed another player on the injured list. While I have no documentation of this, by all appearances that player was John Duren. Duren did not appear in any games between 11/8/80 and 1/18/81. I have documentation that he was activated from the injured list on 1/18/81, so he obviously was placed on the IL at some point prior to that. Duren has to have been placed on the IL on or shortly before the date Miller was signed.

The Google News Archive has two articles which imply that Duren was on the injured list during the period when Miller was with the Jazz, though neither states so explicitly. One article, from the 12/18/80 Toledo (O.) Blade, indicates that the Jazz had signed Miller to a 10-day contract “to fill in for John Duren, who has been out with an injury”. (The brief article was mostly about Miller, who would have been of interest to Blade readers because he had played college basketball at Toledo.) Another article, from the 12/29/80 Deseret News, discusses possible roster options for the Jazz when Miller’s second 10-day contract expired. One option is explained as follows: “Because the Jazz must have an 11-player roster, they could reactivate rookie guard John Duren, who is not ready to play as he recovers from knee surgery.”

Contrary to the conclusion I reached above, the Jazz Media Guide states that Duren was placed on the injured list much earlier, on 11/10/80. (pst.com reports the same, likely using the Jazz Media Guide as its source.) I believe that this is incorrect. 11/10/80 may be the date when Duren went out with an injury, but I am fairly certain that he wasn’t actually placed on the IL on that date. For starters, I can find no evidence that the Jazz signed a player to replace Duren until they signed Miller on 12/9. It wouldn’t make any sense to put Duren on IL if the team wasn’t going to acquire a player to replace him on the active roster. In addition, as alluded to in the Deseret News article quoted in the previous paragraph, I don’t believe that a team could drop under the 11-man limit on anything more than a short-term basis. I don’t think the Jazz could have put Duren on the injured list but waited nearly a month to fill the roster spot.

A search of the Google News Archive also turned up an article which doesn’t confirm precisely what date Duren was placed on the injured list, but does indicate that it has to have been much later than 11/10. The article is from the 12/3/80 Milwaukee Sentinel, covering the previous night’s Bucks-Jazz game, and discussing roster moves the Jazz had recently made. The article observes that “John Duren, who underwent knee surgery Nov. 10, has not been placed on the injured list, so the team is still one under the player limit.” Based on this article, Duren wasn’t placed on the injured list until sometime after 12/3.

Duren was eventually activated from the injured list on 1/18/81. He swapped places with Rickey Green, who was placed on the IL at the same time. Both moves were reported in the transactions column in the following day’s (1/19) Globe, and in several 1/19 newspapers in the Google News Archive. Both moves are also mentioned in the Jazz Media Guide.

Green returned to action on 1/26/81. On the same day, the Jazz waived Ron Boone. While I have no documentation of this, Green must have been activated from the injured list at the same time Boone was waived. (Exactly five games had gone by since Green was placed on IL, which is the minimum number of games players placed on IL were required to sit out.) The transactions column in the following day’s (1/27) Globe mentioned Boone being waived, but not Green being activated. The Google News Archive likewise has a few 1/27 papers reporting Boone’s waiving, but none of them mention what the Jazz did to fill the roster spot.

The activation of Green left the Jazz with no players on the injured list, which would hold true for the rest of the season.

10-day contracts:

Dick Miller signed a 10-day contract with the Jazz on 12/9, followed by a second 10-day contract on 12/19. As discussed earlier, Miller was signed to fill a roster spot that apparently opened when John Duren was placed on the injured list. The Jazz did not retain Miller when his second 10-day contract expired. (Then as now, a team could only retain a player coming off his second 10-day contract by signing him to a contract for at least the remainder of the season.) The NBA Register reports the dates of each of Miller’s two 10-day contracts, while the Jazz Media Guide reports that Miller was signed to the first of two consecutive 10-day contracts on 12/9, doesn’t give a date for the second one, then states that the team “Declined to sign [Miller] for [the] remainder of the season” on 12/29. None of Miller’s transactions with the Jazz appeared in the Globe transactions column, and I couldn’t find any newspapers in the Google News Archive reporting them at the time they occurred. The Archive does have an article from the 12/18/80 Toldeo (O.) Blade indicating that Miller was currently with the Jazz on a 10-day contract, and that he had signed that contract on 12/9.

b-r.com’s handling of Miller’s stay with the Jazz is interesting. They show Miller being signed as a free agent on 12/9, then being “released” on 12/29. There is no acknowledgement that what Miller originally signed was a 10-day contract, that he subsequently signed a second 10-day contract, or that what actually happened on 12/29 was the expiration of his second 10-day contract. This is reminiscent of how the NBA Register writes up some 10-day contract scenarios, although it’s not how the Register actually handled Miller’s stay with the Jazz. The use of the term “released”, as opposed to “waived”, may give an implicit nod to what actually happened, however. Players whose 10-day contracts expire aren’t placed on waivers, so it wouldn’t be accurate to say that Miller was “waived” on 12/29.

After Miller’s second 10-day contract expired, the Jazz appear to have played three games with an open roster spot. They then filled the spot by signing Mel Bennett to a 10-day contract on 1/3/81. This signing is reported as a 10-day contract in the Jazz Media Guide, pst.com, the transactions column in the following day’s (1/4) Globe, and in several other newspapers in the Google News Archive. As with Miller, the Jazz Media Guide indicates that Bennett signed the first of two consecutive 10-day contracts on that date, but doesn’t give a date for the second one. The Jazz Media Guide then indicates that Bennett was signed for the remainder of the season on 1/24/81 (this is also in pst.com, though possibly sourced from the Jazz Media Guide). The only source I could find with a date for the second 10-day contract is pst.com, which has it as 1/13. That date makes perfect sense, but I’m not sure where pst.com got it from, as I could not find it in any media sources at my disposal. The only transaction involving Bennett and the Jazz that appeared in the Globe transactions column was his initial signing on 1/3, and that was also the only one I could find covered in the Google News Archive.

The NBA Register simply shows Bennett signing outright with the Jazz on 1/3/81, with no mention of it being a 10-day deal or of any subsequent contracts. As we’ve discussed in previous installments in this series, the Register typically wrote things up that way whenever a player who initially joined a team on a 10-day deal stuck around for longer than that, and shouldn’t be read as inconsistent with what other sources show. b-r.com shows the same; they likely used the Register as their source.

Mack Calvin:

Calvin finished the 1979-80 season with the Jazz, but did not start the 1980-81 season on an NBA roster. According to the NBA Register, when Calvin signed with the Cavaliers on 12/19/80, he was a Veteran Free Agent. His contract with the Jazz apparently expired at the end of the 1979-80 season, and he remained unsigned until he was picked up by the Cavaliers in December. Despite his status as a Veteran Free Agent, I have never seen any indication that the Cavaliers had to send compensation to the Jazz. I suspect that either the Jazz had not offered Calvin a contract for the 1980-81 season, effectively placing him in the position of a player who had been released, or he was considered to be such a minor player at this point in his career that the Jazz did not bother to ask for compensation. Because of this, I have not included Calvin as a “Notable unsigned Veteran Free Agent” on the Jazz’ opening night roster, and do not make any mention of his signing with the Cavaliers in the Jazz’ 1980-81 in-season transactions.

Jerome Whitehead:

The Jazz Media Guide, in its list of all-time transactions, states that the Jazz signed Jerome Whitehead on 1/18/81. That date is a typo; the Jazz actually signed Whitehead one year earlier on 1/18/80. The correct date appears in numerous other sources – including elsewhere in the Jazz Media Guide, in the all-time player register section. After signing Whitehead in January 1980, the Jazz lost him to the Mavericks in the 1980 expansion draft, and he was not with the Jazz at any time during the 1980-81 season.

GAMES STARTED INFO

MEDIA GUIDE

The 2015-16 Jazz Media Guide has regular season games started stats going back to the 1974-75 season, the franchise’s first year in the NBA. These appear in the player register section of the Guide (there is no year-by-year listing; you have to look up each player individually). Unfortunately, however, a closer examination reveals that the figures for 1980-81 can’t possibly be accurate, because they don’t add up correctly. For an 82-game season, the games started totals for a given team’s players should add up to 410, which is 82 times 5. The totals in the Jazz Media Guide add up to 411, one too many. The Jazz are the third team we’ve encountered with this sort of problem; the others were the Pistons and the Blazers.

For the record, here are the totals in the Jazz Media Guide (bearing in mind that these can’t possibly be 100% accurate, since they don’t add up correctly):

Poquette 82
Dantley 80
Griffith 80
Green 38
Bristow 37
McKinney 35
Wilkins 28
Cooper 19
Boone 9
Duren 1
Judkins 1
Nicks 1

TSN BOX SCORES

All but two of the TSN box scores for the 1980-81 Jazz appear to list the players in “starters first” F-F-C-G-G order. The two exceptions were games on 1/10/81 and 3/29/81. The game on 3/29 was the last game of the season.

--In the 1/10/81 box score, the first five players look like the expected starters, but with center Jeff Wilkins in the fifth position rather than the expected third position.

--In the 3/29/81 box score, the first five players look like they could be the starters, but with center Wayne Cooper in the fifth position rather than the expected third position.

For the game on 1/10, I am assuming that the first five players listed are the starters, at their usual positions. That group of players had all started at least the five preceding games, and all but one of those players would start at least the five following games. The one exception is Rickey Green, who would start the next game on 1/14, then dropped out of the lineup for six games, presumably due to injury. There seems no reason to think that these five players wouldn’t have started the game on 1/10.

For the game on 3/29, I don’t actually have to assume who the starters were. The Jazz Media Guide includes a feature with the starting lineups for the first and last games of each season, and it confirms that the first five players listed in the 3/29 TSN box score were the starters in the last game of the 1980-81 season. Four of the first five players listed had started at least the previous twelve games, so I would have guessed them to be starters anyway. The fifth player was Carl Nicks. Nicks was starting in the spot normally occupied by Darrell Griffith, who didn’t play on 3/29. As further evidence that Nicks started this game, note that the Jazz Media Guide credits him with making one start, but there is no other TSN box score that shows him as a starter. The game on 3/29 was apparently his lone start of the season for the Jazz.

With the above assumptions for the 1/10 game, and confirmation from the Jazz Media Guide for the 3/29 game, this is how many games started I am getting for each player in the TSN box scores:

Poquette 82
Dantley 80
Griffith 80
Green 38
Bristow 37
McKinney 33
Wilkins 28
Cooper 19
Boone 9
Judkins 2
Duren 1
Nicks 1

NOTES/DISCREPANCIES

There are two players whose games started totals do not match between the media guide and the TSN box scores. Billy McKinney is shown with 35 starts in the media guide, but only 33 starts in the TSN box scores. Jeff Judkins is shown with 1 start in the media guide, but 2 starts in the TSN box scores. Note that McKinney’s overage (2) and Judkins’ deficit (1) don’t balance; this is because the media guide is crediting one too many starts. The games started totals for all other players are in agreement between the TSN boxes and the Jazz Media Guide.

McKinney played in the first 35 games of the season for the Jazz, then was traded. For McKinney to have made 35 starts, he would have had to start every game he played in for the Jazz. The TSN box scores show McKinney starting the first 33 games of the season (through 12/18/80), then Judkins starting the two games that followed (12/19/80 & 12/20/80).

I think it is likely that the player being credited with the extra game started in the Jazz Media Guide is McKinney. If McKinney really made 35 starts, he must have started two games that the TSN box scores don’t show him starting. Those two games have to be the two games Judkins is shown starting in the TSN box scores (12/19 & 12/20), since those are the only two games McKinney played in for the Jazz that the TSN box scores don’t already show him starting. But assuming that McKinney started those games would leave Judkins with no games started, and the Jazz Media Guide credits Judkins with starting one game. If it wasn’t one of those two games, it would have to be a game that the TSN box scores show another playing starting – but not crediting that player with starting that game would then throw that player’s games started totals off. The simplest explanation is that the game the media guide credits Judkins with starting was one of the two games the TSN box scores shows him starting. If Judkins started one of those games, McKinney couldn’t possibly have made any more than 34 starts. Reducing his total to 34 makes the media guide numbers add up correctly.

After adjusting McKinney’s games started total down to 34, we are obviously still left with a discrepancy involving one game between McKinney and Judkins. According to the TSN box scores, McKinney started the first 33 games of the season, Judkins the two games that followed. But if the media guide is correct that McKinney started 34 and Judkins one, McKinney must have started on either 12/19 or 12/20, and Judkins on only one of those two dates (not both).

In Part II below, I have used the totals from the Jazz Media Guide, with the adjustment of McKinney’s total to 34, and noting the discrepancy between McKinney and Judkins in the text for each player.
Last edited by MCT on Thu Sep 21, 2017 3:43 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: 1980-81 Utah Jazz Games Played/Started & Transactions

Postby MCT » Fri Jul 22, 2016 9:25 pm

UTAH JAZZ – PART II

PLAYER INFORMATION

Players are listed based on a snapshot as of late February.

ADRIAN DANTLEY

History: 1st round pick of Braves in 1976. Acquired in trade with Lakers, September 1979.

Games Played (Regular Season 80 G, 42.7 MPG): The two games in which Dantley did not appear were two consecutive games on 1/23/81 & 1/24/81.

Games Started (Regular Season: 80): Dantley started every game he played in.

b-r.com position info: Position in old b-r.com header is listed as Forward-Guard. Primary position is shown as SF for all seasons of career.

DARRELL GRIFFITH

History: 1st round pick of Jazz in 1980.

Games Played (Regular Season 81 G, 35.4 MPG): The only game in which Griffith did not appear was on 3/29/81. That was the last game of the season.

Games Started (Regular Season: 80): The only game Griffith played in but did not start was on 10/31/80.

b-r.com position info: Position in old b-r.com header is listed as Guard. Primary position is shown as SG for all seasons of career.

BEN POQUETTE

History: 2nd round pick of Pistons in 1977. Signed as Veteran Free Agent, June 1979 (compensation owed to Pistons).

Games Played (Regular Season 82 G, 34.2 MPG): Poquette appeared in every game the Jazz played.

Games Started (Regular Season: 82): Poquette started every game the Jazz played. The TSN box scores show that Poquette’s starts were divided between center and forward. Early in the season, Poquette typically started at center. In late December, he was switched to starting at power forward, and typically started at that position for the rest of the season. For the season as a whole, the TSN boxes have Poquette starting 47 games at forward, versus 35 games at center.

Poquette is shown starting 33 of the first 34 games of the season at center (through 12/19/80). The only exception is the game on 10/25/80. The TSN box score for that game shows Wayne Cooper starting at center, Poquette shifting over to start at forward, and regular starting forward Allan Bristow going to the bench.

Poquette is then shown starting 46 of the final 48 games of the season at forward (from 12/20 on). When Poquette shifted to forward, this bumped Bristow to the bench. Meanwhile, the starting center role was subsequently filled at various times by Wayne Cooper and Jeff Wilkins. The two games after 12/20 that Poquette isn’t shown starting at forward were two consecutive games on 2/6/81 & 2/7/81 (the second and third games after the All-Star break). Poquette is shown starting those two games at center instead. Wilkins, who otherwise started at center during that portion of the season, played off the bench in those two games, while Bristow started at forward in Poquette’s place.

b-r.com position info: Position in old b-r.com header is listed as Forward-Center. Primary position is shown as PF for all seasons of career, including 1980-81, except for one (1979-80, which is shown as C).

RICKEY GREEN

History: 1st round pick of Warriors in 1977. Signed as a free agent, December 1980.

Green did not start the season with the Jazz. He was signed on 12/2/80. On the same day, the Jazz also signed Jeff Wilkins. The two filled the roster spots vacated when James Hardy and Brett Vroman were waived the previous day.

Games Played (Regular Season 47 G, 27.8 MPG): The Jazz played a game on the day Green was signed (12/2), in which he did not appear. He did not appear in the next two games the Jazz played after that, either (12/4 & 12/6), before finally making his debut on 12/7. At that point, the Jazz had 55 games remaining in the season, and Green played in 47 of them. The eight games after 12/7 that Green did not play in were two consecutive games on 12/16/80 & 12/18/80, and six consecutive games from 1/16/81 through 1/24/81. Green was on the injured list from 1/18/81 to 1/26/81, covering the last five games of the stretch of games he was absent from in January.

Games Started (Regular Season: 38): Green moved into the starting lineup on 12/30/80, and started 38 of the 44 games the Jazz played from that point on. The six games he didn’t start were the six games he didn’t play in from 1/16/81 through 1/24/81. Green ultimately filled the starting point guard role that had been vacated by the trade of Billy McKinney on 12/22, although there were several games in between the trade and the point Green took over that were started by other players.

b-r.com position info: Position in old b-r.com header is listed as Guard. Primary position is shown as PG for all seasons of career.

JEFF WILKINS

History: 2nd round pick of Spurs in 1977. Signed as a free agent, December 1980. (Note: Wilkins had no regular-season NBA experience prior to the Jazz signing him.)

Wilkins did not start the season with the Jazz. He was signed on 12/2/80. On the same day, the Jazz also signed Rickey Green. The two filled the roster spots vacated when James Hardy and Brett Vroman were waived the previous day.

Games Played (Regular Season 56 G, 18.9 MPG): Wilkins is credited with appearing in 56 regular season games, but I only noted him in 55 TSN box scores. b-r.com’s game log feature also shows Wilkins in only 55 box scores. It is possible that Wilkins was omitted from the box score to one game in which he did not compile any stats that would have been shown in the box score.

The Jazz played a game on the day Wilkins was signed (12/2), but Wilkins isn’t in the TSN box score for that game. His first appearance in a TSN box score is in the team’s next game, on 12/4/81. At that point, the Jazz had 57 games remaining in the season, and Wilkins appears in the box scores for 55 of them. After 12/4, the only two box scores he is missing from are for the games on 3/4/81 and 3/26/81.

The TSN box score for the game on 3/4/81 lists only six players for the Jazz. While all of the totals shown in the box score add up correctly (FG, FT, FTA, PTS), it would make sense that at least one additional player appeared in this game for the Jazz, as it is extremely rare to see an NBA team use as few as six players in a game. If one wanted to track down Wilkins’ “missing” game, the game on 3/4 is probably the first place to look. In addition to Wilkins, two other Jazz players who are absent from the box score for the game on 3/4 also appear in one fewer TSN box score than they are credited with games played. It is very possible that those two players – Allan Bristow and Carl Nicks – appeared in this game as well.

Games Started (Regular Season: 28): Wilkins started 28 of the 32 games the Jazz played from 12/27/80 through 3/1/81. Ben Poquette had begun the season as the Jazz’ starting center, but was shifted to power forward on 12/20. He was initially replaced at center by Wayne Cooper, but after making three starts, Cooper disappeared from the lineup for several games, presumably due to injury. On 12/27, with Cooper now out, Wilkins became the starting center. Wilkins would continue to hold down the role even after Cooper returned, all the way through to early March. At that point, with 13 games left in the season, Cooper took over again.

The four games during the 12/27 – 3/1 period that Wilkins didn’t start were two consecutive games on 2/6/81 & 2/7/81 (the second and third games after the All-Star break), and two consecutive games on 2/15/81 & 2/17/81. For the games on 2/6 & 2/7, the TSN box scores show Poquette shifting back to starting at center. For the games on 2/15 & 2/17, Cooper started at center. Wilkins played in all of these games, so it isn’t clear to me why he didn’t start them. It may be that the Jazz simply had some uncertainty over who they wanted to start at center. They would eventually replace Wilkins with Cooper in early March.

b-r.com position info: Position in old b-r.com header is listed as Center-Forward. Primary position is shown as C for all seasons of career.

ALLAN BRISTOW

History: 2nd round pick of 76ers in 1973. Signed as Veteran Free Agent, June 1979 (compensation owed to Spurs).

Games Played (Regular Season 82 G, 24.4 MPG): Bristow is credited with appearing in all 82 regular season games, but I only noted him in 81 TSN box scores. b-r.com’s game log feature also shows Bristow in only 81 box scores. It is possible that Bristow was omitted from the box score to one game in which he did not compile any stats that would have been shown in the box score.

The box score from which Bristow is missing is for the game on 3/4/81. If Bristow really did play in all 82 regular season games, he obviously has to have played in that game. The TSN box score lists only six players for the Jazz. While all of the totals shown in the box score add up correctly (FG, FT, FTA, PTS), it would make sense that at least one additional player appeared in this game for the Jazz, as it is extremely rare to see an NBA team use as few as six players in a game. In addition to Bristow, two other Jazz players who are absent from the box score for the game on 3/4 also appear in one fewer TSN box score than they are credited with games played. It is very possible that those two players – Jeff Wilkins and Carl Nicks – appeared in this game as well.

Games Started (Regular Season: 37): Bristow started 33 of the first 34 games of the season (through 12/19/80; the only game he didn’t start in that stretch was on 10/25/80), two consecutive games on 1/23/81 & 1/24/81, and two consecutive games on 2/6/81 & 2/7/81.

Until late December, Bristow was a regular starter at forward. For the game he didn’t start on 10/25, regular starting center Ben Poquette is shown shifting to forward, bumping Bristow to the bench. On 12/20, Poquette moved to starting at power forward more-or-less permanently, pushing Bristow from the starting lineup. The two games Bristow started on 1/23 & 1/24 were games regular starting small forward Adrian Dantley didn’t play in. The two games Bristow started on 2/6 & 2/7 were games in which Poquette was temporarily shifted back to starting at center.

b-r.com position info: Position in old b-r.com header is listed as Forward-Guard. Primary position is shown as SF for all seasons of career.

WAYNE COOPER

History: 2nd round pick of Warriors in 1978. Acquired in trade with Warriors, September 1980.

Games Played (Regular Season 71 G, 20.0 MPG): The eleven games in which Cooper did not appear were on 10/15/80, five consecutive games from 12/7/80 through 12/16/80, and five consecutive games from 12/27/80 through 1/3/80.

Games Started (Regular Season: 19): The nineteen games Cooper started were on 10/25/80; three consecutive games from 12/20/80 through 12/26/80; two consecutive games on 2/15/81 & 2/17/81; and the last thirteen games of the season (from 3/3/81 on).

In the early part of the season, Ben Poquette typically started at center for the Jazz. Cooper made one start on 10/25, a game in which the TSN box score shows Poquette shifting to start at power forward instead. When Poquette was moved to start at power forward more-or-less permanently on 12/20, Cooper took over as the starting center for the next three games, but this streak was snapped by the stretch of games Cooper was absent from starting on 12/27. In Cooper’s absence, Jeff Wilkins became the starting center, and would hold down that role even after Cooper returned, all the way through to early March. There were two games in February that Cooper started in place of Wilkins for some reason, however, possibly just reflecting uncertainty on who the team wanted to start. On 3/3/81, with thirteen games left in the season, Cooper replaced Wilkins as the starter.

b-r.com position info: Position in old b-r.com header is listed as Center-Forward. Primary position is shown as C for all seasons of career, including 1980-81, except for one (1979-80, which is shown as PF).

CARL NICKS

History: 1st round pick of Nuggets in 1980. Acquired in trade with Nuggets, December 1980.

Nicks started the season with the Nuggets, but was traded to the Jazz on 12/22/80 for Billy McKinney.

Games Played (Regular Season 40 G, 15.4 MPG): Nicks is credited with appearing in 40 games for the Jazz, but I only noted him in 39 TSN box scores. b-r.com’s game log feature also shows Nicks in only 39 box scores. It is possible that Nicks was omitted from the box score to one game in which he did not compile any stats that would have been shown in the box score. Nicks had played in 27 games for the Nuggets prior to the trade, giving him a total of 67 games played for the year.

At the time Nicks was acquired, the Jazz had 47 games remaining in the season. Nicks appears in the box scores for 39 of them. The eight box scores from which Nicks is missing are two consecutive games on 12/23/80 & 12/26/80 (the first two games after Nicks was acquired), 12/30/80, 1/3/81, 1/10/81, two games in a three-game stretch from 2/13/81 through 2/17/81 (missing from 2/13, present on 2/15, missing from 2/17), and 3/4/81.

The TSN box score for the game on 3/4/81 lists only six players for the Jazz. While all of the totals shown in the box score add up correctly (FG, FT, FTA, PTS), it would make sense that at least one additional player appeared in this game for the Jazz, as it is extremely rare to see an NBA team use as few as six players in a game. If one wanted to track down Nicks’ “missing” game, the game on 3/4 is probably the first place to look. In addition to Nicks, two other Jazz players who are absent from the box score for the game on 3/4 also appear in one fewer TSN box score than they are credited with games played. It is very possible that those two players – Allan Bristow and Jeff Wilkins – appeared in this game as well.

Games Started (Regular Season: 1): The game Nicks started was on 3/29/81, which was the last game of the season. Regular starting guard Darrell Griffith did not play in this game.

b-r.com position info: Position in old b-r.com header is listed as Guard. Primary position is shown as PG for 1980-81, SG for the two remaining seasons of his career.

JOHN DUREN

History: 1st round pick of Jazz in 1980.

Games Played (Regular Season 40 G, 11.5 MPG): Duren played in 40 games, which means that there were 42 games he didn’t play in. 32 of these games were consecutive, from 11/10/80 through 1/16/81. From approximately 12/9/80 to 1/18/81, Duren was on the injured list.

The ten games Duren didn’t play in, outside of that 32-game stretch, were on 10/10/80 (opening night), 10/20/80, four consecutive games from 10/29/80 through 11/4/80, two games in a three-game stretch from 3/4/81 through 3/7/81 (did not play on 3/4, played on 3/5, did not play on 3/7), 3/21/81, and 3/28/81 (the second-to-last game of the season).

Games Started (Regular Season: 1): The game Duren started was on 1/24/81. This game fell during a period when regular starting point guard Rickey Green was on the injured list.

b-r.com position info: Position in old b-r.com header is listed as Guard. Primary position is shown as PG for all seasons of career.

JEFF JUDKINS

History: 2nd round pick of Celtics in 1978. Signed as Veteran Free Agent, July 1980.

Games Played (Regular Season 62 G, 10.7 MPG): The twenty games in which Judkins did not appear were six of the first nine games of the season (did not play on 10/10, 10/11 & 10/12; played on 10/15; did not play on 10/18; played on 10/20; did not play on 10/24; played on 10/25; did not play on 10/28), 11/4/80, 11/10/80, two consecutive games on 11/22/80 & 11/26/80, 12/13/80, 12/30/80, four consecutive games from 1/7/81 through 1/14/81, 1/26/81, 3/4/81, and two consecutive games on 3/26/81 & 3/28/81 (the second-to-last and third-to-last games of the season). Note that there were more games Judkins didn’t play in during the early part of the season than in the later part. Ten of the twenty games Judkins didn’t play in were within the first 22 games of the season, while only four were in the last 36 games of the season.

Games Started (Regular Season: 1): As discussed earlier, there is a one-game discrepancy in Judkins’ games started between the Jazz Media Guide and TSN box scores. The media guide credits him with one start, but the TSN boxes suggest that he started two games. The two games Judkins is shown starting in the TSN box scores are two consecutive games on 12/19/80 & 12/20/80. Both starts were at guard, in the starting slot that had been occupied by Billy McKinney up to that point in the season. McKinney was traded on 12/22, but the TSN box scores show Judkins starting no further games after the trade. The Jazz first briefly tried Ron Boone as the starter, then turned to Rickey Green.

b-r.com position info: Position in old b-r.com header is listed as Guard-Forward. Primary position is shown as SF for all seasons of career. Note that even though Judkins’ position in the old header is listed as “Guard-Forward” (implying that guard was the position he played at the most over the course of his entire career), his primary position for each individual season of his career is shown as SF.

MEL BENNETT

History: Began pro career in ABA, 1975. Signed to a 10-day contract, January 1981.

Bennett started the season with the Kings, but was waived seven games into the season without having appeared in any games (he was on the injured list the entire time). The Jazz signed him to a 10-day contract on 1/3/81, followed by a second 10-day contract on 1/13/81, then a contract for the remainder of the season on 1/24/81. Bennett filled a roster spot which had been vacated earlier when John Duren was placed on the injured list. The Jazz had initially filled the roster spot by signing Dick Miller to a pair of 10-day contracts, but did not retain Miller after his second 10-day contract expired. When Duren was ready to return, the Jazz moved a different player onto the injured list, and when that player (Rickey Green) was ready to return, they kept Bennett and made room by waiving another player (Ron Boone).

Games Played (Regular Season 28 G, 11.2 MPG): Bennett is credited with appearing in 28 regular season games, but I only noted him in 27 TSN box scores. b-r.com’s game log feature also shows Bennett in only 27 box scores. It is possible that Bennett was omitted from the box score to one game in which he did not compile any stats that would have been shown in the box score.

The Jazz played a game on the day Bennett was signed (1/3), but Bennett isn’t in the TSN box score for that game. Bennett doesn’t appear in the TSN box scores for the Jazz’ next four games after that, either, finally making his first appearance on 1/16/81. At that point, the Jazz had 36 games remaining in the season, and Bennett appears in the box scores for 27 of them. The nine box scores after 1/16 that he is absent from were for two consecutive games on 1/26/81 & 1/27/81, 2/7/81, five games in a six-game stretch from 2/17/81 through 2/27/81 (absent from 2/17, 2/20, 2/21 & 2/23; present on 2/25; absent from 2/27), and 3/21/81.

Games Started (Regular Season: 0): Bennett did not start any games.

b-r.com position info: Position in old b-r.com header is listed as Forward. Primary position is shown as PF for all seasons of career.

NO LONGER WITH TEAM:

RON BOONE

History: Began pro career in ABA, 1968. Acquired in trade with Lakers, October 1979.

Boone started the season with the Jazz, but was waived on 1/26/81. For most of December and January, the Jazz were carrying a guard on the injured list - first John Duren, later Rickey Green. When Green was ready to return from the IL, the team made room for him on the active roster by waiving Boone.

Games Played (Regular Season 52 G, 22.0 MPG): At the time Boone was waived, the Jazz had played 52 games. Boone had appeared in all of them. The Jazz played a game on the date Boone was waived, but it is apparent that Boone was waived before the game, as his replacement on the active roster (Rickey Green) played in it. Boone’s last game with the Jazz was on 1/24/81. Boone’s waiving snapped a streak of 1,041 consecutive combined NBA and ABA games played, going back to the beginning of his professional career in 1968.

Games Started (Regular Season: 9): The nine games Boone started were on 10/31/80; three consecutive games from 12/23/80 through 12/27/80; and five consecutive games from 1/16/80 through 1/23/80.

Boone’s start on 10/31 was in place of Darrell Griffith, although it isn’t clear to me why Griffith didn’t start this game, as he did play in it. His three starts in December came shortly after the trade of Billy McKinney, filling what had been McKinney’s starting slot, although the Jazz ultimately decided to go with Rickey Green as the starter. Boone’s five starts in January were all games Green didn’t play in (Green was on the injured list for all but the first game in this stretch). Boone’s final start on 1/23 was the second-to-last game he played before he was waived.

b-r.com position info: Position in old b-r.com header is listed as Guard-Forward. Primary position is shown as SG for all seasons of career.

BILLY McKINNEY

History: 6th round pick of Suns in 1977. Acquired in trade with Mavericks, September 1980.

McKinney started the season with the Jazz, but was traded to the Nuggets on 12/22/80 for Carl Nicks.

Games Played (Regular Season 35 G, 29.5 MPG): At the time McKinney was traded, the Jazz had played 35 games. McKinney had appeared in all of them. After the trade, McKinney played in an additional 49 games for the Nuggets, giving him a total of 84 regular-season games played for the year.

Games Started (Regular Season: 34): As discussed earlier, there are multiple discrepancies regarding McKinney’s games started totals. First, the Jazz Media Guide credits McKinney with 35 games started, but the games started totals in the media guide add up to one too many, and I think that McKinney is likely the player being credited with the extra game started. Second, even if we adjust McKinney’s media guide games started total downward to 34, there is still a one-game discrepancy between the media guide and the TSN box scores involving McKinney and Jeff Judkins. McKinney is shown starting 33 games in the TSN box scores. Judkins is shown starting two, but the Jazz Media Guide credits him with making only one start.

It seems undisputed that McKinney started at least the first 33 games of the season (through 12/18/80). The discrepancies are around whether he started none, one or both of the two games that followed (12/19/80 & 12/20/80). The game on 12/20 was McKinney’s last game with the Jazz before he was traded.

b-r.com position info: Position in old b-r.com header is listed as Guard. Primary position is shown as PG for all seasons of career.

JAMES HARDY

History: 1st round pick of Jazz in 1978.

Hardy started the season with the Jazz, but was waived on 12/1/80. On the same day, the Jazz also waived Brett Vroman. Their roster spots were filled by signing Rickey Green and Jeff Wilkins the next day.

Games Played (Regular Season 23 G, 22.1 MPG): At the time Hardy was waived, the Jazz had played 24 games. Hardy had appeared in all but one of them, which was on 11/12/80.

Games Started (Regular Season: 0): Hardy did not start any games.

b-r.com position info: Position in old b-r.com header is listed as Forward-Center. Primary position switches back and forth between PF and SF. 1980-81 is shown as PF.

BRETT VROMAN

History: 4th round pick of 76ers in 1978, as a junior eligible; returned to college for 1978-79 season, but signed with 76ers in April 1979 rather than re-enter that year’s draft. Signed as a free agent, July 1980. (Note: Vroman did not make the 76ers’ roster in 1979, so even though he had come out of college a year earlier, he had no regular-season NBA experience prior to this season.)

Vroman started the season with the Jazz, but was waived on 12/1/80. On the same day, the Jazz also waived James Hardy. Their roster spots were filled by signing Rickey Green and Jeff Wilkins the next day. The eleven games Vroman appeared in were the only NBA games he would ever play in.

Games Played (Regular Season 11 G, 8.5 MPG): At the time Vroman was waived, the Jazz had played 24 games. Vroman had appeared in only eleven of them. The eleven games Vroman played in were three consecutive games from 10/12/80 through 10/15/80; 10/20/80; 10/25/80; two consecutive games on 10/31/80 & 11/1/80; two consecutive games on 11/15/80 & 11/18/80; and two consecutive games on 11/28/80 & 11/29/80 (the last two games Vroman was on the roster).

Games Started
(Regular Season: 0): Vroman did not start any games.

b-r.com position info: Position in old b-r.com header is listed as Center. Primary position is shown as C; this is the only season that Vroman played in the NBA.

DICK MILLER

History: 2nd round pick of Pacers in 1980. Signed to a 10-day contract, December 1980.

Miller did not start the season with the Jazz. He was with the team on a pair of 10-day contracts between 12/9/80 and 12/29/80. Miller filled a roster spot which had apparently opened when John Duren was placed on the injured list. Miller was not retained after the second 10-day contract expired. The Jazz instead signed a different player to a 10-day contract (Mel Bennett). Prior to signing with the Jazz, Miller had also been with the Pacers for a short time in November. The eight games Miller played in this season – five with the Pacers, three with the Jazz – were the only NBA games he would ever appear in.

Games Played (Regular Season 3 G, 6.3 MPG): Miller is credited with appearing in 3 regular season games for the Jazz, but I only noted him in 2 TSN box scores. b-r.com’s game log feature also shows Miller in only 2 box scores. It is possible that Miller was omitted from the box score to one game in which he did not compile any stats that would have been shown in the box score. The two TSN box scores that Miller appears in were for the games on 12/12/80 and 12/19/80.

Games Started (Regular Season: 0): Miller did not start any games.

b-r.com position info: Position in old b-r.com header is listed as Forward. Primary position is shown as SF; this is the only season that Miller played in the NBA.
Last edited by MCT on Thu Sep 21, 2017 6:24 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: 1980-81 Utah Jazz Games Played/Started & Transactions

Postby MCT » Fri Jul 22, 2016 9:26 pm

UTAH JAZZ – PART III

PLAYERS BY POSITION

STARTERS

The Jazz had regular starters throughout the season at only two positions. The other three positions all saw two or three different players pass through as starters over the course of the season. Let’s look at things position by position.

Center: Ben Poquette was the regular starter at center until late December, when he was shifted to starting at power forward. Initially, it looked like the Jazz were going to replace him with Wayne Cooper. But after starting three games, Cooper was absent from the next several games, presumably due to injury. In Cooper’s absence, the Jazz installed Jeff Wilkins as the starter. Wilkins continued to start even after Cooper returned, and continued to hold down the job until early March. At that point, he was replaced by Cooper, who started for the remainder of the season. For the season as a whole, Poquette started 35 games at center, Wilkins 28, and Cooper 19. Wilkins is the starter in our snapshot lineup because he was the starter during our usual snapshot period (late February), and he started more games at center than anyone other than Poquette (who we are using at another position in our snapshot).

Forward: At one forward slot, the starter was consistently Adrian Dantley, through the entire season. At the other slot, the regular starter was initially Allan Bristow. When Ben Poquette was shifted from starting at center to starting at forward in late December, he displaced Bristow, who then went to the bench. For the season as a whole, Dantley made 80 starts at forward, Poquette 47, and Bristow 37. Dantley and Poquette are the starters in our snapshot. Of those two, b-r.com shows Poquette as a PF and Dantley as an SF, which seems pretty clear cut. Interestingly, though, Bristow is also shown as an SF (Dantley and Bristow are both shown as SFs for every season of their NBA/ABA careers). This may explain why the Jazz switched Poquette over – they had been using a starting lineup with two SFs, which must have caused matchup problems. As the taller of the two at 6’ 7”, I guess you could label Bristow as the PF.

Guard: At one guard slot, the starter was consistently Darrell Griffith, through the entire season. At the other slot, the regular starter was initially Billy McKinney, who was traded in late December. After trying a couple of other players for a few games (Jeff Judkins, Ron Boone), the Jazz settled on Rickey Green as the new starter.

Dantley led the team in mpg by a wide margin, at 42.7. Griffith and Poquette were also over 30 mpg, and Green at 27.8. Wilkins averaged just 18.9 mpg, very light for a player who started as often as he did. Wilkins’ mpg is likely so low in part due to his not having been the starter for the entire season (he started for about a third of the season, although that represents about half of the portion of the season he was with the Jazz). But after Poquette was shifted to forward, I suspect that the Jazz used more of a platoon arrangement at center than a traditional starter/backup setup, regardless of who was starting.

RESERVES

Of the players classified as reserves in our snapshot lineup, the ones who played the most minutes per game were Allan Bristow (24.4) and Wayne Cooper (20.0). Bristow was an SF; his mpg numbers are likely so high in part because he started for a portion of the season. Cooper was a C. He also started for a portion of the season, and actually averaged more minutes per game than the player who is the starter in our snapshot lineup, Jeff Wilkins. After Ben Poquette was shifted to starting at forward in December, I suspect that the Jazz used more of a platoon arrangement at center than a traditional starter/backup setup, regardless of who was starting.

Next in the rotation comes Carl Nicks (15.4). Nicks was a the first player off the bench in the backcourt. He looks to have been a combo guard. b-r.com has his primary position this season as PG.

The remainder of the bench was made up of Jeff Judkins (11.5 mpg), Mel Bennett (11.2 mpg), and John Duren (10.7 mpg). These three did not play heavy minutes, but saw game time on a regular basis, and averaged double figures in minutes; no one on the Jazz’ roster was really buried at the end of the bench. There is some ambiguity over how much Judkins played at which positions, but he looks to have been a wing who played some combination of SG and SF. Bennett was a PF, and Duren a PG.

Note that the Jazz waived two players during the season – not traded, but waived – who were averaging over 20 minutes per game at the time they were released: James Hardy (22.1) and Ron Boone (22.0).

POSITION NOTES

Center-Forwards

The Jazz had four players listed in their old b-r.com headers as playing both center and forward: Ben Poquette, Jeff Wilkins, Wayne Cooper and James Hardy. Wilkins is shown with a primary position of C for every season of his career, Cooper C for almost every season of his career, and Poquette PF for almost every season of his career. Hardy’s primary position is shown as a forward of some type for every season of his career, though he switches back and forth between PF and SF.

With so many players involved, it’s hard to say for certain who played how much at which position. But we know that Poquette saw time this year at both C and PF – because he started extensively at both positions -- while it looks like Wilkins and Cooper were closer to being pure centers, and Hardy closer to being a pure forward. Let’s take every player on the Jazz except Poquette, and organize them into two groups: those with a primary position of center (Wilkins, Cooper, Vroman) and those with a primary position elsewhere. If you add the minutes for each group and compare them with the minutes available at each position, you are left with 1375 minutes at center and 1433 minutes elsewhere. This should be a rough approximation of how many minutes were available for Poquette at each position (1375 at C, 1433 at F).

Depending on whether Wilkins and Cooper played any forward, or Hardy played any center, these numbers may not be exact. But they confirm that Poquette almost certainly saw significant time at both positions, and they support b-r.com’s conclusion that PF was Poquette’s primary position (the one he played the most). Looking at the rest of the Jazz’ personnel, I suspect that Poquette was seeing some minutes at PF during the portion of the season he was starting at C, and vice versa. In the early going, Cooper and Vroman were available to play center, so Poquette probably wasn’t getting all of his minutes in the pivot. Later on, I doubt that Cooper and Wilkins were playing 48 minutes a night, so there would have still been some minutes at center to be covered by Poquette.

Forwards-Guards

The Jazz had four players listed in their old b-r.com headers as playing both forward and guard: Adrian Dantley, Allan Bristow, Ron Boone and Jeff Judkins. Dantley and Bristow are shown with a primary position of SF for every season of their careers, and Boone as an SG for every season of his career. Judkins is a bit of a strange case. His old b-r.com header lists his position as “Guard-Forward”, implying that guard was the position he played at the most over the course of his entire career, but his primary position is shown as SF for each individual season of his career.

If you add up the minutes played by every player on the Jazz whose primary position was in the frontcourt, and you add up the minutes played for every player on the Lakers whose primary position was guard, you’ll find an overage of 466 minutes in the frontcourt and a deficit of 466 minutes at guard. This suggests that one or more players whose primary position is shown as forward also played some guard.

The most obvious candidate is Judkins. It’s possible that Dantley and Bristow played some guard, too; I don’t have a good sense of whether they would have been used that way at this point in their careers. I would be surprised if Boone played much forward this year. To the extent that he played some forward, I would have expected it to be earlier in his career.

While I cannot definitively prove or disprove it, I have a suspicion that most or all of those 466 minutes were played by Judkins. If that were the case, that would make SG Judkins’ primary position, not SF as b-r.com has it. This would be consistent with information the old b-r.com header, however, which listed Judkins’ position as guard first and forward second. It would also account for the fact that b-r.com does not show any backup SG on the Jazz’ roster after the point when Ron Boone was waived, though Carl Nicks (shown as a PG) looks to have been a combo guard, and may have also played some SG. It is possible that Judkins played more heavily at forward in the first half of the season, then was shifted to guard after Boone’s departure. He probably saw significant minutes at both positions, in any event.

As always, I would be interested in any information anyone has about how these players were used, this season or elsewhere in their careers.

TRIVIA

Oldest Player: Ron Boone, born 9/6/46 (age 34 throughout the season). After Boone was released, the oldest member of the Jazz was Allan Bristow, born 8/23/51 (age 29). Boone had been nearly five years older than any of his teammates.

Played in ABA: Allan Bristow, Mel Bennett, Ron Boone

Longest continuous service with team: James Hardy, with the team since the 1978-79 season. This was only the Jazz’ second season in Utah, but Hardy was the last remaining player from the franchise’s days in New Orleans. After Hardy was waived, the title passed to Ben Poquette and Allan Bristow, both of whom were signed as Veteran Free Agents on the same day in June 1979. Adrian Dantley also began the 1979-80 season with the team, but was not acquired until later in the 1979 offseason.

Highest original draft position*: #2 overall – Darrell Griffith.

Lowest original draft position*: 11th round, #147 overall – Ron Boone. Note that many reference sources show Mel Bennett as undrafted, but that isn’t really accurate. Bennett was never selected in a regular NBA draft, but that was because he was never eligible for a regular NBA draft, which isn’t really what people mean when they say a player was “undrafted”. In addition, Bennett was both eligible for and actually selected in a special December 1975 supplemental draft of ABA players who had not yet been eligible for the NBA Draft. That draft’s existence has been almost completely forgotten by modern reference sources.

Youngest Player: John Duren, born 10/30/58 (turned 22 about three weeks into the season). Carl Nicks was fourteen days older than Duren. Darrell Griffith and Dick Miller were also born in 1958, but earlier in the year.

*Which player was chosen with the highest/lowest selection, by round and/or overall pick, with no regard to whether any players may have been drafted under circumstances not reflecting their “true” value (e.g., player was a junior eligible who had not committed to turn pro right away, player was already under contract to ABA).
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Re: 1980-81 Utah Jazz Games Played/Started & Transactions

Postby wojoaderge » Mon Jul 25, 2016 5:16 am

I agree, I don't think that Adrian Dantley played any G for the Jazz until John Drew joined them
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Re: 1980-81 Utah Jazz Games Played/Started & Transactions

Postby MCT » Thu Sep 21, 2017 6:33 pm

A while back, Mike G. posted some material in the Spurs thread, with position information for 1980-81 sourced from Neft & Cohen’s NBA Encyclopedia. I recently posted about this in the introductory thread to this series, noting that I planned to post and comment on this data on a team-by-team basis. See the eighth post in the introductory thread for more information.

Here’s what Neft & Cohen have for the Jazz:

Mike Goodman wrote:
Code: Select all
tm     player         pos   Min   
Uta   Adrian Dantley   F   3417         
Uta   Darrell Griffith G   2867         
Uta   Ben Poquette    Fc   2808         
Uta   Allan Bristow    f   2001         
Uta   Wayne Cooper     C   1420         
Uta   Rickey Green     G   1307         
Uta   Ron Boone        g   1146         
Uta   Jeff Wilkins     c   1058         
Uta   Billy McKinney   g   1032         
Uta   Jeff Judkins    gf    666         
Uta   Carl Nicks       g    616         
Uta   James Hardy      f    509         
Uta   John Duren       g    458         
Uta   Mel Bennett      f    313         


MCT wrote:The Jazz had four players listed in their old b-r.com headers as playing both center and forward: Ben Poquette, Jeff Wilkins, Wayne Cooper and James Hardy. Wilkins is shown with a primary position of C for every season of his career, Cooper C for almost every season of his career, and Poquette PF for almost every season of his career. Hardy’s primary position is shown as a forward of some type for every season of his career, though he switches back and forth between PF and SF.

With so many players involved, it’s hard to say for certain who played how much at which position. But we know that Poquette saw time this year at both C and PF – because he started extensively at both positions -- while it looks like Wilkins and Cooper were closer to being pure centers, and Hardy closer to being a pure forward. Let’s take every player on the Jazz except Poquette, and organize them into two groups: those with a primary position of center (Wilkins, Cooper, Vroman) and those with a primary position elsewhere. If you add the minutes for each group and compare them with the minutes available at each position, you are left with 1375 minutes at center and 1433 minutes elsewhere. This should be a rough approximation of how many minutes were available for Poquette at each position (1375 at C, 1433 at F).

Depending on whether Wilkins and Cooper played any forward, or Hardy played any center, these numbers may not be exact. But they confirm that Poquette almost certainly saw significant time at both positions, and they support b-r.com’s conclusion that PF was Poquette’s primary position (the one he played the most). Looking at the rest of the Jazz’ personnel, I suspect that Poquette was seeing some minutes at PF during the portion of the season he was starting at C, and vice versa. In the early going, Cooper and Vroman were available to play center, so Poquette probably wasn’t getting all of his minutes in the pivot. Later on, I doubt that Cooper and Wilkins were playing 48 minutes a night, so there would have still been some minutes at center to be covered by Poquette.

Consistent with this, Neft & Cohen have Poquette as “Fc”, Cooper and Wilkins as exclusively centers, and Hardy as exclusively a forward.

MCT wrote: The Jazz had four players listed in their old b-r.com headers as playing both forward and guard: Adrian Dantley, Allan Bristow, Ron Boone and Jeff Judkins. Dantley and Bristow are shown with a primary position of SF for every season of their careers, and Boone as an SG for every season of his career. Judkins is a bit of a strange case. His old b-r.com header lists his position as “Guard-Forward”, implying that guard was the position he played at the most over the course of his entire career, but his primary position is shown as SF for each individual season of his career.

If you add up the minutes played by every player on the Jazz whose primary position was in the frontcourt, and you add up the minutes played for every player on the Lakers whose primary position was guard, you’ll find an overage of 466 minutes in the frontcourt and a deficit of 466 minutes at guard. This suggests that one or more players whose primary position is shown as forward also played some guard.

The most obvious candidate is Judkins. It’s possible that Dantley and Bristow played some guard, too; I don’t have a good sense of whether they would have been used that way at this point in their careers. I would be surprised if Boone played much forward this year. To the extent that he played some forward, I would have expected it to be earlier in his career.

While I cannot definitively prove or disprove it, I have a suspicion that most or all of those 466 minutes were played by Judkins. If that were the case, that would make SG Judkins’ primary position, not SF as b-r.com has it. This would be consistent with information the old b-r.com header, however, which listed Judkins’ position as guard first and forward second. It would also account for the fact that b-r.com does not show any backup SG on the Jazz’ roster after the point when Ron Boone was waived, though Carl Nicks (shown as a PG) looks to have been a combo guard, and may have also played some SG. It is possible that Judkins played more heavily at forward in the first half of the season, then was shifted to guard after Boone’s departure. He probably saw significant minutes at both positions, in any event.

Consistent with this, Neft & Cohen have Judkins as “gf”. Note that this contradicts b-r.com’s identification of Judkins’ primary position as SF (which I had disputed in my previous analysis).

Neft & Cohen have Dantley and Bristow as exclusively forwards, and Boone as exclusively a guard.
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